Ok so here’s the problem. The pad is underneath the tub. The sensor is between the pad and tub. The bottom of the tub is definitely reading exactly what the thermostat says. To double check I used the heat gun. But the strange part is, the tub on the inside, even all the way down to the plastic only will reach like low 80s. Using Lowe’s brand tubs. Not sure if that makes a difference but the heat just isn’t penetrating I don’t get it.
*Zoomed heat mat (30-40gal)
I have a minute long video I tried to post along with this.
What is the room temperature and what temperature do you want the mats to be at?
I found, in my little experience, that I sometimes had to turn the thermostat up a bit higher for the heat to penetrate the tub. Don’t go crazy and melt the tub, but if you’re aiming for 90F inside the tub, maybe raise the thermostat to 93-95 (but watch the bottom of the tub, even though usually more heat is required to melt those things).
I had a similar issue with some custom gecko racks I made out of Target plastic storage bins.
The room temp is ab 70. I’d like the hot side to be 91. I’m using a JumpStart thermostat and it’s set all the way to 108 and the bottom of the inside of the tub barely reaches 80. But the weird thing is the bottom of the outside reads 108 per my temp gun. So I have 2 different confirmations that the heat mat reaches 108, but the heat simply won’t penetrate the inside. Update: Today I changed to a sterilite tub, made no difference.
Using an on/off thermostat to keep a temp gradient can be tough and I have seen it melt a zoomed heat mat and my buddy’s reptile store hears it from customers fairly often. It’s pulse heating essentially. Once the stat kicks off it won’t kick back on until it’s sensed a change of several degrees. It can be made to work (did it for years), but those hydroponic t-stats are made to trust a few bucks worth of seeds to, not a live animal.
The Vivarium Electronics VE-100 is the most cost effective of the dimming units (as opposed to on/off like you’re using that wear heat elements much faster and are much less accurate) and can run several enclosures or a whole rack wattage wise.
From personal experience, the heat mats are working fine, I’ve only ever managed to get them to increase heat by about 10 without additional heat . Overhead heaters warm air temperature, and heating mats warm the substrate or floor. Heat mats aren’t designed to be the only source of heat. Do you have a room heater that you could use to heat the room a little more just to see if that makes a difference?
How much of the tub does the heat mat cover
Yeah I don’t really have a dedicated reptile room at the moment. Working on that. But the pad covers ab 1/3 of the tub
Thanks for the advice. I keep hearing that lately. I bought the JumpStart tstat bc I’ve seen several well known breeders on YouTube recommend it.
VE types are the way to go. Continuous monitoring will give your reptile a much better heat gradient, I’ve found.
There is as much bad information on Youtube as there is good. I see so much sketchy electrical stuff in people’s videos. I would go so far as to say, that they aren’t a very well set up/well educated breeder if they’re using on/off t-stats for very much. Especially if they’re running more than one tape/enclosure off of it. Views on Youtube just mean someone has a flashy headline and made the algorithm happy, not necessarily that they’re well known or well thought of by the community at large. I only ever used on/off to run one piece of heat tape at a time and they aren’t even that good at that. The only thing I use them for them anymore is run the ambient heat, because dimming style t-stats shouldn’t be running line voltage devices for safety reasons.
Isn’t a proportional thermostat it’s a on/off as well.
@riversreptiles as @saleengrinch notes the VE-100 is not a proportional thermostat.
Here is a chart of the thermostats provided by vivarium electronics
Good to know. The set points are tight enough on them you can maintain a gradient so I never even noticed. I only use them for my big habitats thats my herpstat probes won’t reach lol.